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2018 marks the seventh consecutive year that MAG has partnered with International Health Service of Minnesota (IHS) to bring a major medical outreach to the Honduran region of LaMosquitia. Hosting one of IHS’s largest teams at MAG’s Rus Rus Hospital, this annual “brigade” delivers medical, dental, optical, and surgical care to 10-20 percent of the region’s population each year.
Residents of the remote Miskito villages of Rus Rus, Mabitah, and Suhi, were waiting with great anticipation as the MAG team was due to arrive. For the past several years a team had come to do VBS programs for the children, but this year’s team had a different flavor. This year was more about partnership, about the larger community, and about hope for the future.
From time to time, our MAG aircraft need a double-portion of Tender Loving Care. That’s when we retrieve the aircraft from the field program, and bring it back to the US to be pulled apart, inspected inch-by-inch, refurbished with a couple new bells and whistles, and then put back together, with a new engine and prop.
MAG’s national church partner in Gabon, EACMG, is embarking on an ambitious construction project on 65 acres of property, just outside of the capital city of Libreville. Their desire is that the social works of the campus will demonstrate God’s love to the country’s largest population region, in Word and in Deed.
On April 22, 2017 over 300 supporters of Missionary Air Group descended upon the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport, in Burlington, NC, for MAG’s first ever Open House and for the Dedication Ceremony of MAG’s new ministry headquarters.
People wait in line outside the hospital to receive medical and dental care after having walked for up to two days to get there. This means carrying food, bedding, and children with them. Large extended family groups and even entire villages often travel together for safety.
Nearly a year of preparation, government paperwork, and construction has finally culminated with the official opening of MAG’s new “home base” airstrip in the Peten region of Guatemala.
Missionary Air Group has a new Headquarters facility at the Burlington-Alamance Regional Airport. This facility is the new home for our US-based administrative, development, flight training, and aircraft maintenance departments, which will strengthen our ability to deliver “Help and Hope by Air” through our international field programs.
In July 2016, MAG Director of Pastoral Ministries, Pastor Carlos Paz, was joined by Honduran Pastors Pastor Esaú Nuñez Sosa and Roman Lopez Chow on a mission to provide biblical training to 60 pastors from the Miskito people group – 40 pastors in Waspan, Nicaragua and 20 pastors in Suhi, Honduras. This is part of the ongoing effort of Missionary Air Group to strengthen the local church by bringing needed pastoral training to this remote part of the Nicaraguan frontier.
In February 2016, Sean Donelly (MAG CEO), Alace Straw (MAG Member Care Specialist), and Steve Straw (MAG Chief Pilot) met with the national leadership of the C&MA (Christian & Missionary Alliance) churches in Libreville, Gabon. The Straw’s established the mission aviation program in Gabon, known locally as “Aviation Médicale de Bongolo”, in 2008. The service provides critical transport needs to national church efforts, especially the Bongolo Hospital, a 160-bed full-service hospital in the remote south of Gabon. The Cessna 207 aircraft (N207FD) is owned by MAG, who has become the sole “aviation partner” of the Bongolo Hospital and the C&MA National Church of Gabon.
An annual inspection for an airplane, like a car, can either be fairly quick and easy, or it can come with the need for significant investment of time and money. This year, the latter was the case for MAG’s N9719Z, or “One Nine Zulu” as it is commonly called. One Nine Zulu is the plane currently in use in Rus Rus, Honduras. Given its location, the inspection and repairs would normally take place in Rus Rus. But this was no normal annual inspection.
Missionary Air Group has recently expanded its medical aviation services to Africa by forging a strategic partnership with “Aviation Médicale de Bongolo” (AMB). Operating since 2008 under the stewardship of Air Calvary, another US-based non-profit, the AMB program and Cessna aircraft will now move forward as part MAG.
On May 11, 2015, several of MAG’s staff members joined together in Coshocton, Ohio to attend the 4-day International Association of Missionary Aviation (IAMA) annual conference. This year the conference was hosted by Missionary Maintenance Services (MMS), a partner organization which provides maintenance services for MAG aircraft.
In early May, MAG’s Director of Pastoral Ministries Carlos Paz led a team of five to Rus Rus, Honduras to complete some much-needed work on both the hospital and Guest House. The Guest House improvements will pave the way for current Rus Rus resident missionaries, Wes and Denise Wiles, to move in, making room for 2 new missionary couples to join the field. Both the Moras (David and Hannah) and the Braxtons (Joel and Abrielle) are in preparation for field deployment and will be taking up residence in the Main House/Duplex currently occupied by the Wiles’.
Think about it. What would it be like if you could only see a doctor or a dentist one day a year? And what if seeing that doctor or dentist required you and your family to walk three days round trip through the jungle carrying all the food for the trip? Then, after that walk, you arrive at the clinic to find several hundred people already camped out waiting in line ahead of you? And when you finally see the doctor or dentist, they don’t even speak your language? Now, imagine being intensely grateful for this care because you know your child will live to his next birthday – and because you can remember when that may not have been the case. Hard to imagine? Welcome to health care in the remote region of Honduras called La Mosquitia.
A team of six men and women traveled to MAG’s Honduras mission base January 30 through February 10, 2014 to hold a Vacation Bible School for children from the villages of Rus Rus and Mahbita. This was a very special team as, not only was it comprised of volunteers from both East and West coasts of the US, but it was also the first time a VBS program had been held for these children.
The wonderful volunteers from International Health Service returned to MAG’s mission base in Rus Rus from February 18-26, 2013 to conduct a free medical and dental clinic. This is the third consecutive year that MAG has partnered with IHS to deliver critically needed care to the Miskito people of Eastern Honduras.
Bobby Dobbs, one of Missionary Air Group’s volunteers, recently received an Emmy Award from the Nashville Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for one of his video productions in conjunction with the University of North Carolina Center for Public Television (UNC-TV).
July and August saw a tremendous amount of cargo arrive at the Rus Rus Hospital, much of it donated supplies and equipment that will have a great and immediate impact upon the people living along our little section of the Rio Coco.
The Rus Rus Hospital has been privileged to once again host a medical team from International Health Service (IHS). IHS has been sending medical teams to the far reaches of Honduras for nearly 30 years and has committed to make Rus Rus an annual venue for its international volunteer teams.
Imagine you're a pilot needing to do an emergency medical flight with a critically injured patient. You need to make a 300 nm flight over rugged mountains and remote jungle. You have no radar services or radio communications and absolutely no idea what the conditions are just over the horizon, let alone whether or not you can even LAND when you get there!
Volunteer work teams from around the United States have been in Rus Rus almost non-stop since October making tremendous progress with key infrastructure upgrades. In fact, almost the entire list of 2011 projects has been completed!
The Missionary Air Group / Harvesters International Mission family is saddened to announce the death of one of the members of our Board of Directors, Mr. Tom Coble. Tom served on our board since 2009 and will be missed deeply. The following is an excerpt from the family’s official press release.
Missionary Air Group pilots and aircraft save lives in remote villages of eastern Honduras. See the impact a visiting medical team from International Health Service (IHS) has on the people of the Rio Coco.